Today we’re making some fizzy orange globes of bath time happiness—Mango Mango Bath Bombs! I feel like this mango theme lends itself especially well to bath things because I love bright, happy, colourful bath things. The bombs themselves are bright orange, and then we’re having some fun with some colourful splatters and drizzles ’cause, well, why not? Mango on!
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Bath bombs are basically a solid, dry acid-base reaction that’s just waiting to be set off by the addition of water (from the bath!). The acids (pH below 7) are citric acid and Cream of Tartar, and baking soda is the base (pH above 7). I highly recommend purchasing your bath bomb ingredients in bulk—while you can buy most of these ingredients at the grocery store, the acids especially get quite pricey if you’re buying food grade in wee little tins and bottles.
We’ll take these powdery components and bind them together with some wetter things; some melted mango butter and polysorbate 80 will help make the bath a bit richer (the polysorbate 80 helps ensure the mango butter won’t float on top of the water and make a greasy mess when the tub is drained).
Once the oil part is blended in we’re going to incorporate the tiniest amount of water possible. That tiny amount of water will let our crystalline ingredients slightly dissolve, and then they’ll can fuse back together as they dry, creating sturdy, solid bath bombs. Our water comes in the form of witch hazel and 70% isopropyl alcohol, both of which react much less than water does (the finished bath bombs will dry faster, too).
When our mixture will hold together when squeezed, it’s time to mold the bath bombs! I used a spherical mold from Windy Point, but you could also use a 1/4–1/3 cup measuring cup if you don’t want to invest in anything new, or a different fun-shaped mold. When the bombs are all formed it’s time for a fun mica drizzle! You’ll need to mix your mica with a thin, volatile liquid—something that won’t react with the bombs (so no water), and something that will evaporate quickly. 99% isopropyl alcohol is the most common choice, but used isododecane as I’ve got quite a lot of it, and it works perfectly as well. Splatter/decorate away, set the bath bombs aside to dry for a day, and you are all done! Enjoy your mango scented tub time 🧡
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Mango Mango Bath Bombs
416g | 52% baking soda (USA / Canada)
208g | 26% citric acid (USA / Canada)
76g | 9.5% Cream of Tartar
40g | 5% Epsom salt (USA / Canada)
4g | 0.5% orange mica (I used “Orange Burst” from YellowBee)
8g | 1% natural mango fragrance oil
Mango-inspired coloured micas (I used “Lemon Sherbert Sparkle” and “Firecracker“), pre-distributed in 99% isopropyl alcohol or isododecane (USA / Canada)
Gold biodegradable glitter (I used “Glamour Gold“)
Measure the powdered ingredients into a large bowl and mix them together.
Add the melted oils to the powdered ingredients, stir for a wee while, and then add the essential oil. Blend everything together using a flexible silicone spatula, and then switch to using your hands when the melted oils are no longer hot and you won’t be soaking your hands in the fragrance oil. When you’re done blending the final mixture should be uniform and resemble cookie dough a bit. If you grab a handful of the mixture and squeeze it should hold together a little.
Now it’s time to add just enough liquid to get the mixture to hold together in a mold. Not too much, though, or it will react in the bowl/mold, not in your bath. That’s why we’re using misters (they’ll spread the moisture better) of witch hazel and 70% isopropyl alcohol. The reaction isn’t as vigorous when you use witch hazel and alcohol (with the alcohol being even less vigorous than the witch hazel), plus the bath bombs dry faster.
Spread your mixture out in your bowl so you have as much surface area as possible, and spritz in some witch hazel—I found I needed 6–8 spritzes of witch hazel. Use your hands to quickly combine, misting and mixing. Once you can grab a fairly good handful of the mixture and it’ll hold together, mix in a few spritzes of alcohol. The final mixture should hold together quite well—you should be able to tap a squeezed handful with your finger and have it hold together.
Mould the bath bombs using a spherical mould. If the bath bombs start to become finicky as you work, that’s likely because the mix is starting to dry out—mist in some more liquid until they become workable again. When you’ve used up all the powder, it’s time for the mica drizzles!
Blend 1g of each mica with about 10mL (2 tsp) of 99% isopropyl alcohol or isododecane. Using a disposable pipette, suck up some of the shimmery liquid and then scatter some drops and drizzles overtop of the bombs. I alternated between red and yellow, dropping and splattering pretty randomly for a spotty, droppy, abstract effect. I finished off with a dusting of gold biodegradable glitter.
To use, drop in a hot bath and enjoy! This recipe will make about ten 2″ bath bombs, depending on how many survive molding.
Because these bath bombs don’t contain any water once they dry, they do not require a broad-spectrum preservative (broad spectrum preservatives ward off microbial growth, and microbes require water to live—no water, no microbes!). Be sure to keep them dry to ensure they last as long as possible—don’t let any water get into the container/bag you store them in and they should easily last a year.
As always, be aware that making substitutions will change the final product. While these swaps won’t break the recipe, you will get a different final product than I did.
- As I’ve provided this recipe in percentages as well as grams you can easily calculate it to any size using a simple spreadsheet as I’ve explained in this post. As written in grams this recipe will make 800g.
- You can use more citric acid instead of Cream or Tartar, but this makes the bombs softer as well as much harder to mold. I would really recommend sourcing some Cream of Tartar—it’ll make your life way easier, and the end product much nicer.
- You can use a different brittle or soft butter in place of the mango butter
- You can use a different essential oil blend or fragrance
- The mica splatters and glitter are optional